(SAN FRANCISCO) – Tuesday, October 6, 2009 – Sandra R. Hernández, M.D., CEO, and David Friedman, Chair of the Board of Trustees of The San Francisco Foundation (TSFF), announced the appointment of Vanitha Venugopal as Program Officer for Community Development.
As Program Officer for Community Development, Vanitha Venugopal will oversee the Foundation’s efforts dedicated to empowering low-income individuals and transforming residential real estate markets to create vibrant, equitable, and sustainable neighborhoods – by focusing on housing and economic security to provide for a strong platform from which individuals and families can build sustainable livelihoods. Ms. Venugopal’s extensive field background includes experience as an urban planner, facilities and policy analyst, and legislative aide. James Head, TSFF Program Director, praised Ms. Venugopal and her reputation within the field for her deep knowledge and compassion. “Vanitha’s expertise, strategic approach, and rich background will serve our communities well as they and we contend with the fallout from this tough economy” said Mr. Head.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Vanitha served as a senior program officer for community revitalization at the Surdna Foundation, where she developed a portfolio of grants focused on transit-oriented development, energy efficiency retrofits in affordable housing, and building new voices for equity. She is a co-founding member of Chhaya CDC, which provides housing services to South Asians in New York City, and a former board member of Habitat for Humanity-NYC and Asian Americans for Equality. Vanitha holds a Master’s in Community and Regional Planning from Iowa State University, and a Bachelor’s of Architecture from the JNT University in India. A recent east coast transplant, Vanitha now resides in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco.